Simplified Rules

The Laws of Badminton and Competition Regulations in the BWF Statutes provide the detail on every aspect of the game of badminton.

Below is a brief overview  - simplified rules.

Scoring System

  • A match consists of the best of 3 games of 21 points.
  • Every time there is a serve – there is a point scored.
  • The side winning a rally adds a point to its score.
  • At 20 all, the side which gains a 2 point lead first, wins that game.
  • At 29 all, the side scoring the 30th point, wins that game.
  • The side winning a game serves first in the next game.
Interval and Change of Ends
  • When the leading score reaches 11 points, players have a 60 second interval.
  • A 2 minute interval between each game is allowed.
  • In the third game, players change ends when the leading score reaches 11 points.
Singles
  • At the beginning of the game (0-0) and when the server’s score is even, the server serves from the right service court. When the server’s score is odd, the server serves from the left service court.
  • If the server wins a rally, the server scores a point and then serves again from the alternate service court.
  • If the receiver wins a rally, the receiver scores a point and becomes the new server. They serve from the appropriate service court – left if their score is odd, and right if it is even.

    Doubles
  • A side has only one ‘service’.
  • The service passes consecutively to the players as shown in the diagram.
  • At the beginning of the game and when the score is even, the server serves from the right service court. When it is odd, the server serves from the left court.
  • If the serving side wins a rally, the serving side scores a point and the same server serves again from the alternate service court.
  • If the receiving side wins a rally, the receiving side scores a point. The receiving side becomes the new serving side.
  • The players do not change their respective service courts until they win a point when their side is serving.

If players commit an error in the service court, the error is corrected when the mistake is discovered.

In a doubles match between A & B against C & D.  A & B won the toss and decided to serve. A to serve to C. A shall be the initial server while C shall be the initial receiver.

 

Course of action / Explanation
Score
Service from Service Court
Server & Receiver
Winner of the rally
 
 
Love All Right Service Court. Being the score of the serving side is even. A serves to C A and C are the initial server and receiver. A & B rules-dir1
A & B win a point. A & B will change service courts. A serves again from Left service court. C & D will stay in the same service courts. 1-0 Left Service Court. Being the score of the serving side is odd A serves to D C & D rules-dir2
C & D win a point and also right to serve. Nobody will change their respective service courts. 1-1 Left Service Court. Being the score of the serving side is odd. D serves to A. A & B rules-dir3
A & B win a point and also right to serve. Nobody will change their respective service courts. 2-1 Right Service Court. Being the score of the serving side is even. B serves to C C & D rules-dir4
C & D win a point and also right to serve. Nobody will change their respective service courts. 2-2 Right Service Court. Being the score of the serving side is even. C serves to B C & D rules-dir5
C & D win a point. C & D will change service courts. C serves from Left service court. A & B will stay in the same service courts. 3-2 Left Service Court. Being the score of the serving side is odd. C serves to A A & B rules-dir6
A & B win a point and also right to serve. Nobody will change their respective service courts. 3-3 Left Service Court. Being the score of the serving side is odd. A serves to C A & B rules-dir7
A & B win a point. A & B will change service courts. A serves again from Right service court. C & D will stay in the same service courts. 4-3 Right Service Court. Being the score of the serving side is even. A serves to D C & D rules-dir8

Note that this means:

  • The order of server depends on the score odd or even same as in singles. 
  • The service courts are changed by the servicing side only when a point is scored. In all other cases, the players continue to stay in their respective service court from where they played previous rally. This shall guarantee alternate server.